With eight juniors and three sophomores on the roster, the Escalon High baseball team is short on experience but long on potential.
The results so far speak to the program's growing pains. The Cougars, a perennial Trans-Valley League title contender and Sac-Joaquin Section playoff team, are just 4-4, and the losses are mostly self-inflicted. Escalon has committed 28 errors in eight games, including nine in a 19-7 loss to Enochs of the Central California Athletic League on Wednesday, March 13.
Still, there's promise of better days ahead as the Cougars' youth matures and senior leadership stabilizes.
Escalon looks to two seniors for direction: captains Lucca Dutra and Cole Gilbert, both of whom are hitting better than .500. Dutra leads the Sac-Joaquin Section in doubles with 10, while Gilbert tops the section list in RBIs with 16. Gilbert belted a two-run home run in the loss to the Eagles, driving a pitch over the fence in left field.
Escalon closes the non-league portion of its schedule Friday at Stagg and then launches into Trans-Valley League play Tuesday versus Riverbank.
Follow James Burns on Twitter @jburns1980, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.